How to Reheat Ribs [5 Best Ways: Grill, Oven & More]

5 from 1 vote
5 from 1 vote

Ribs, ribs, glorious ribs. One of our all-time favorite BBQ staples. Fresh off the grill they’re incredible, however trying to recapture that unique BBQ taste on leftovers can be a struggle. Fear no more with our five easy steps to BBQ heaven: This is how to reheat ribs.

how to reheat bbq ribs


The oven is one of the most effective ways to reheat ribs without losing their taste. It is also ideal if you want to preheat large amounts of ribs.

Equipment & Ingredients Needed

  • aluminum foil
  • apple juice
  • BBQ sauce

The Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F (121°C). The low temperature prevents your ribs from overcooking, shrinking, and becoming sturdy. It’s not fun to eat shrunk and hard meat, right?
  2. Thaw your ribs, if applicable. Slather barbecue sauce on the meaty part of the ribs on all sides.
  3. Fold out two layers of aluminum foil, then wrap them around your leftover ribs. If you didn’t smear any sauce on the ribs, add a 1/4-cup of water, broth, stock, or wine to the pieces once they’re wrapped. This will prevent the rib pieces from drying out as they reheat.
  4. Put the ribs on the baking tray and place them in the oven. Let them heat for about one hour.
  5. Remove the foil from your heated ribs and set the oven to Broil. Allow the pieces to sit in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Leave the oven door on one side so the oven’s thermostat does not turn off. Let the ribs rest for five minutes before serving.
pork bbq ribs on plate

Outdoor Grill

Grilling is another great way to reheat your ribs. You can either use a charcoal or a gas grill. Before grilling the pieces, ensure the grill is free of any remnants of previous grilling sessions.

Equipment Needed

  • aluminum foil
  • barbecue sauce
  • digital meat thermometer

The Method

  1. Thaw your leftover ribs. You can leave them at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. Coat both sides of the ribs with barbecue sauce.
  3. Heat your grill to about 225°F (121°C) with the lid closed. On a gas grill, this is a medium setting.
  4. Wrap the leftover ribs in two layers of aluminum foil.
  5. Place the leftover ribs on the indirect heat zone until the ribs come to about 155°F (66°C). A meat thermometer will come in handy when determining the internal meat temperature.
  6. Take the ribs out of the foil and grill directly over direct heat for 5-10 minutes on both sides until the sauce is bubbly.
  7. Remove the ribs and serve them hot


The microwave is the easiest and fastest way to turn your cold leftover ribs into dinner. However, if you microwave them the wrong way, you could end up with mushy ribs with a bad taste.

Many people cringe at the idea of reheating BBQ food this way, but the microwave is a great backup for reheating brisket, ribs, and other barbecued meat.

Equipment Needed

  • paper towels
  • plastic container or plastic wrap

The Method

  1. Line the plastic container with paper towels
  2. Place the ribs in the container and cover them with paper towels to prevent splatters in your microwave oven
  3. Put the container in the microwave and set it to medium heat
  4. Note that heating times may vary depending on the type of microwave. Therefore, you may have to reheat the ribs for about 3-5 minutes at a time until they are completely hot.
  5. Serve with barbecue sauce


A steam session is a nice gentle way to warm up your leftover ribs. While it may not be as fast as a microwave, you won’t have to worry about your rib pieces drying out.

Equipment Needed

  • A foil pouch

The Method

  1. Place a steamer basket in a crock pot with one-quarter cup of water at the bottom. Bring the water to a simmer.
  2. Wrap the ribs in a foil pouch and place it in the basket
  3. Place a lid over the top and allow the ribs to steam for about 10 minutes. Avoid checking the meat while it’s steaming since you’ll let the steam out, lowering the temperature inside the steamer.
  4. Transfer the pieces to a serving dish and enjoy your meal

Sous Vide Machine

Sous vide machine is ideal for those who prefer no-fuss reheating methods that eliminate the risk of overcooking.

Equipment Needed

  • sealable plastic bags

The Method

  1. Heat the water in the sous vide slightly below the original cooking temperature. For instance, if you cooked your ribs to 150°F, heat the water to about 145°F.
  2. Seal the rib pieces in a watertight, sealable plastic bag, then immerse them in the water. Wait for the ribs to heat to your desired temperature. With sous vide, you can be sure that your ribs won’t burn no matter how long they cook.
  3. Remove your ribs from the sous vide, then place them under a medium-high grill or a broiler with a thin layer of barbecue sauce if desired to get a nice crust.
how to reheat ribs

How to Reheat Ribs

5 from 1 vote
Recapture tender, juicy BBQ ribs with your leftover spare or baby back ribs. Discover how to reheat ribs on the grill or in the oven today.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes



  • leftover pork ribs thawed from frozen
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce



  • Fire up grill to 225°F (107°C). Set up for indirect 2-zone cooking.
  • Coat both sides of the ribs with barbecue sauce
  • Wrap the leftover ribs in two layers of aluminum foil
  • Place the leftover ribs on the indirect heat zone until the ribs come to about 155°F (66°C)
  • Take the ribs out of the foil and grill directly over direct heat for 5-10 minutes on both sides until the sauce is bubbly
  • Remove the ribs and serve immediately


  • preheat the oven to 250°F (121°C)
  • place the ribs in aluminum foil. Add ¼ cup of apple juice to the foil pouch before tightly sealing.
  • place wrapped ribs on a baking tray and reheat in the oven for 60 minutes
  • remove ribs from foil and set oven to broil
  • apply a layer of BBQ sauce to the top-side of the ribs
  • put ribs back in oven on broil setting and heat for 5 minutes
  • remove ribs from oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving

About the Author

Ben Isham-Smith

A BBQ obsessive, Ben is behind 250+ of The Online Grill’s recipes, as well as countless barbecue guides to help barbecue newbies get to grips with the world’s best form of cooking.

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